CFF Review: Jacob Gentry’s ‘Broadcast Signal Intrusion’
Presenting the viewer with a mesmerizingly layered narrative that’s brought to life by great performances, Jacob Gentry’s “Broadcast Signal Intrusion” is a deeply unsettling and highly engaging thriller that’ll have you completely engrossed in it’s mystery by the end of the first act. The story unfolds rather slow as it begins, but quickly picks up pace it never loses as it continuously raises the stakes with every shocking discovery the characters make.
Set in the late nineties and centered around a video archivist named James who’s working late one night, when he accidentally uncovers a bizarre and unsettling pirate broadcast which hijacked a local network years ago. He slowly starts to unravel a deeper conspiracy behind the tapes, that he soon believes may be far more personally connected to his life than they initially appeared. Across the films one hundred four minute runtime he’ll cross paths with some strange and mysterious characters, all delivered with highly convincing performances that bring a level of nerve shredding believability to the experience.
The cinematography is gorgeously grungy with solid shot composition and lighting that accentuate the dark, gritty setting of the film very well. Harry Shum Jr. put in an excellent performance as James, bringing a necessary emotional depth to the character that allows you to easily sympathize with his motivations as he traipses down a haunting path towards the truth. As you follow James on his investigation you’ll be introduced to the aforementioned interesting and nuanced roster of supporting characters, including a newly acquired, accidental partner named Alice who’s portrayed with an excellent air of mystery by Kelley Mack.
With a narrative so absorbing that it’ll have you conjuring up all sorts of answers to the questions the film presents, a lot of viewers will find that the final reveal doesn’t quite live up to whatever grand conclusion they’d concocted in their own minds. The filmmakers instead opt for a more realistic approach to how the events come to a close, which will likely hurt the overall experience for many viewers after such an exhilarating first two acts filled with highly eventful twists and turns.
Despite it’s slight shortcomings it manages to be deeply unsettling at times and delivers such an interesting story that it’s worth experiencing once just for those aspects alone, even if the ending doesn’t resonate with you. However if you’re in the market for an engrossing, disturbing mystery to lose yourself in and don’t mind a film not giving you the kind of closure you may want at the end, then “Broadcast Signal Intrusion” is a must-see thriller that you’ll surely want to watch multiple times.